It’s really interesting considering the variables that influence speed. I always seem to run faster when I am slightly cooler, like last week: this afternoon however I was wearing an extra layer, to ward off a cooler day, which made me feel slightly too warm. I’m not sure what effect getting up late has, but I suspect that an 11am start is always going to slow me down, not least as it meant I didn’t particularly want to go running at all! But the big variable is how focused I am and it was running along thinking about all this stuff (and way more) that I reckon actually slowed me down.
I ran the same route as last week which, in short, took me around Burgess Hill and then down to Clayton and back… 11 miles in total. I had a rough sense about where the mile markers were and whilst I wasn’t slavish in trying to remember the time at the different mile points, I noted enough to be interesting. The great thing about data, as I am forever telling my clients, is the ability to get a sense of what was going on… albeit in this case, after the fact.
The first seven miles, while I allowed my mind wandered hither & thither, I ran at 6.5mph, or 9.2 minute miles. Then I picked up the pace, pretending I was running downhill and ran the next 3 miles at 7.2mph, or 8.3 minute miles. All of which left one final mile and no chance of equalling last weeks’ time. No matter, as I was still determined to beat an average of 9 minutes per mile (in effect, racing Phil), so I picked up my skirts and flew, even up the hill from Wivelsfield Station, managing this final mile in 7 minutes, 8.5mph. This gave me an overall time of 1.37 for the 11 miles, average 6.8mph or 8.8 minutes per mile.
One of the reasons that I tend to vary my route is that I don’t actually like racing myself (as a paratelic it is the journey that is of more interest), but I was curious to see whether I could repeat the time from last week. Alas not, which means that I’ll almost certainly be returning to this route again!